The LuLac Edition #69, Oct. 7th, 2006
A few items of full disclosure before I begin. I am a Casey supporter, contributor and backer. I feel strongly that Senator Santorum must not be reelected for the good of the state and the nation. Because you are a member of a party that I believe in a close race can cost a Democrat an important election (much like the 2000 Gore-Bush race where despite Gore’s numerous campaign blunders, Ralph Nader took votes away from him) I chose not to support you. I chose to eliminate your very name from this blog and even in conversation. My support of the Democratic candidate is without apology to you or anyone else regarding my opinions and my actions. All of that said, let me, Mr. Romanelli, offer you a few observations and recommendations.
Your attempt to get on the ballot, despite my opposition was a thing of wonder. The sheer perseverance of your fight won you great respect among all Pennsylvanians. The very fact that my candidate’s upper echelon fought you at every turn and the man I oppose supported your effort says much about you. One saw you as a threat to take votes away from the effort, the other viewed you as a useful tool to smoke out Mr. Casey into a debate. Most third party candidates are ignored, belittled and degraded. You sir, were courted and demonized by both factions. That just doesn’t happen to anyone. Congratulations are in order!
The money you owe in legal fees, is, as L.A. Tarone, said on his TV editorial, an atrocious abuse of the legal system. The fact that the Judge who ruled in the case is a former State Senator and Casey crony needs to be addressed and investigated. I would try to get national organizations to help you get that debt relieved. If it can’t be reduced, you may use that problem as a way to jumpstart another candidacy. You can be known as the guy who fought the system and lost….but you refuse to give up. It would be a novel approach, you would indeed be the “poor people’s candidate” given the legal debt. And every chance your name is in the news, the injustice of that Judge’s ruling will stay on the front pages.
First off, lose the Green Party. Yeah, I know you believe in their principles and what they stand for. Yeah, I know they are an alternative to the two major parties. Blah, blah, blah. Hey Carl, ever look at some of the Greenies surrounding you? 60 year old hippies riding bikes, 40 year old guys with mullets wearing tie die tee shirts, and woman with peasant blouses still yammering about the ERA. While these are honorable people with admirable pursuits, here is the concern: they have no power. And for as much as you’d like to do it, you can’t give them the political power they want or need for their issues. Hell, the Green Party’s impotence was demonstrated first hand when they said they had no money to help you pay for the legal bills. Face it, money buys legitimacy. And even the Reform Party in 1992 and 1996 had a state wide budget, albeit they had a “sugar daddy” in Ross Perot but at least they (The Reform Party) had a pot to do their business in. Anyway, enough about your so called party, let's talk about you. In this short campaign for the U.S. Senate, you’ve demonstrated the following:
1. Superior intelligence.
2. Great likeability.
3. Supreme command of the issues.
4. Passion for your beliefs.
5. Dexterity on explaining how you got funded.
6. A sense of humor.
7. Good TV presence.
8. Excellent command of the English language.
Carl, with all of your attributes and gifts, your association with the Green Party is like an Albert Einstein deciding to abandon science and become a substitute gym teacher in a middle school in Ames, Iowa! All of those gifts, all of that potential lost on people who have no chance to advance that brilliance. If you want to be remembered as a Third Party Don Quixote, go for it. The political landscape is littered with greater men than you who aspired for office as a Third Party candidate with little resources and no hope. Eugene McCarthy, John Anderson, Henry Wallace, Ross Perot, and the biggie, Theodore Roosevelt. Okay, there was one successful third party candidate, Jesse Ventura, but do you want to be associated with that guy? Right, I think not. Lose the Green Party, join a real one. If Mr. Tie Die and Ms. Peasant blouse believe in you, they’ll come on board to the mainstream.
BUT I WANT TO CHANGE THINGS!!!!
Do you. Do you really? Carl, this United State Senate candidacy was a long shot. A dream as you put it. Hey, I dream of Geena Davis walking up North Main street in a teddy with a flashlight looking for my house when the wife is out of town, but that’s a dream and it ain’t going to happen! If you wanted to share your candidacy with your grandchildren, I got news for you. They won’t give a shit when they are having to pay for the spending excesses associated with the cost of the Iraq War. And about change, how much do you think you could’ve affected by running for the Senate? Imagine Carl, these two scenarios. Running as a Democrat against 24 year incumbent Ray Musto who voted for the pay raise or running as a Republican against Phyllis Mundy who needs to send out a search party for her opposition candidate just to see if he exists! You mean to tell me that with all of the energy expended for this senate race, this ballot fight, and everything else, that you couldn’t make a difference in either of those races in an organized party? You can make a difference but you have to do it in a venue where you can effect real change, not just dream of it.
A REAL PARTY WON’T ACCEPT ME
Right, not at first. But you strike me as a guy who doesn’t give up. And you just keep on coming. Ronald Reagan’s philosophy (I can see you gagging right now Carl!!) was not readily accepted by the Republican party right away. And the anti war plank of the Democratic party for the Vietnam war came in 1972, not in 1968 when it was desperately needed. You’ll have to run a few times, but better to be a perennial candidate who stands for something and has something to say than just to run for the sake of running. Robert P. Casey Sr., rejected 3 times by his party is a perfect example. With your integrity and command of the issues, no one will ever mistake you for Howard Williams (who I’m sure your dad shared a cigar or two with at the Anthracite News lunch counter on many occasions) Sam Daley or Johnny Cicero. (Cicero was eventually elected to the Valley West school board after 7 tries for elective office.) Carl, you’ll lose a few times and I guarantee they’ll hate you at first, but being in an organized party is the place to be.
In numerous radio and TV interviews, I heard you say your hero was Bobby Kennedy. Let me tell you about your hero. Bobby, as Attorney General wiretapped the phone of Martin Luther King, Junior because he was told by J. Edgar Hoover to do so. If he didn’t, Hoover most likely would’ve exposed Bobby’s brother, the President as a womanizer. Bobby was pragmatic. In 1967-68, Bobby Kennedy let Senator Gene McCarthy dive into the pool of sharks to oppose the Vietnam War against President Johnson. Bobby sat on the sidelines, hiding behind the big linebackers. When McCarthy nearly beat LBJ in the New Hampshire primary, Bobby said he was going to “reassess his position”. Two days later, much to the early bird McCarthy’s chagrin, RFK jumped in. Again, he was pragmatic. A realist. Bobby Kennedy is one of my political heroes precisely for the reasons people called him an “opportunist”. He saw the handwriting on the wall, made a political calculation because his business was politics. And in that business, the only way to effect change, is to survive, fight, win the trust of the people and then govern. When you govern, you change what you think is wrong. Bobby Kennedy never got that chance but he knew that educating the ignorant, feeding the hungry and offering opportunity to the disenfranchised could never be achieved until he won the prize. He was pragmatic in his quest for that prize, knowing that history and those he helped would forgive the lesser sin of political manipulation over the greater sin of not getting to that mountaintop of victory. Victory means change, Carl.
With your talents, your intelligence, your articulation of the issues, your passion, you need to re-enter public life again as a serious candidate in one of the two organized parties. The battles will be just as frustration, the opposition to your ideas just as fierce and your prospects at first, may not be successful. But Carl, you have to do it this way because I know deep down you want to see change for the working poor in this state and county, for the kids who never got to the chance to be educated like you and I were, to those in deep despair that feel that everyone in government is the same and just doesn’t care. Carl, you’ve got to make the decision and do it for those people who are counting on an honorable and hopefully pragmatic guy like you to shake up the system from within. And if you don’t want to do it for yourself or the people of this state and region, then do it for Bobby!